Trump and Co. Flaunt Indifference Toward 225,000 Death Toll

President Donald Trump and his circle have endlessly demonstrated their deadly indifference to the coronavirus, which has now claimed the lives of over 225,000 Americans. Despite polls indicating Trump’s stance of downplaying the virus is not to his benefit, with 57 percent of voters trusting Biden on COVID-19 versus only 40 percent trusting Trump, he continues to reject science and his top infectious-disease experts, ignore guidelines and host events that are the perfect environment for spreading the virus. Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff, nonchalantly stated in a CNN interview, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” The White House has made it clear that they are going to continue hosting high-risk rallies and events despite the suggestions of epidemiological experts. 

So why does a president who is losing in nearly every poll, including ones on confidence in handling the pandemic, continue to demonstrate his indifference towards the most deadly virus this country has seen since the pandemic of 1918? At first, you might guess that he flaunts the insignificance of this virus to appease a mask-hating, regulation-fearing voter base. If this is his strategy, it is not a very strong one, as appealing to only 40 percent of the population is not a reliable pathway to victory. 

So why is a currently trailing candidate flaunting a losing mindset? Why is he continuing to act like the death of nearly a quarter of a million Americans (and more every day) is nothing to be concerned over? The real reason for Trump’s ignoring all the red flags indicating the severity of this situation is that he is a self-obsessed, arrogant narcissist who doesn’t value any life that doesn’t benefit his own agenda. At this point in the virus’ progress, to admit its severity would be to admit his failure to protect the nation from it. Even now that he has himself contracted the virus and survived it, its risks seem to have had no real impact on his psyche. 

Trump and his circle have sought to carry on business as usual as if we were not all living through the greatest pandemic since 1918 and the greatest economic depression since the Great Depression of the 1930s. We can simply look back a few months and compare the party conventions back in August to see the stark contrast between how Democrats and how the now Trumpian Republicans are handling this dark time in our history. 

At the DNC, the Democrats put together an event that followed all COVID-19 guidelines, a mostly virtual experience centered around finding unity in a time of so much uncertainty. They focused on what we as a country need to do in order to rise out of this situation stronger and more united. They presented a case for Joe Biden as someone with empathy, who has lost family members of his own and can relate to those who have now lost loved ones to the virus because of Donald Trump’s failure to act. They presented Joe Biden as someone to unite us out of this troubling moment in our nation’s history.

The RNC presented a very different image. This event had no focus on any substantial policy platforms or plans to lead us out of this pandemic, but was instead a celebration of Trump with superlatives like, “A visionary,” “The richest man in the world” and “The guardian of America.” Trump and the party that stands in lockstep with him have no plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump stands in office for the attention, for the compliments from his spineless Republican colleagues and for the worshipping from his legion of devout supporters. 

Trump is not a man who fights for anyone but himself. So why should we be surprised that he continues to prance across the nation hosting events that have been linked to COVID-19 outbreaks? He continues to host rallies without social distancing and with his supporters mostly without masks. Instead of conceding that we are in the middle of a historic pandemic, he would rather project a sense of normalcy and ignore all the failures of his administration in handling the virus and the subsequent economic crash. Some had hoped that following his positive coronavirus test and hospitalization, he would have a change of tone regarding the virus and the over 210,000 Americans dead at the time. But that is not something he is capable of. He does not value human life that does not benefit him. He has consistently demonstrated that he is incapable of empathizing. Say what you want about Biden. He’s not my favorite either. But at least he is a decent human being who is capable of empathizing with others’ loss and suffering. Donald Trump knows no suffering, only greed and self satisfaction. 

3 Comments

  1. More people trust Biden on Covid management compared to Trump according to the polls: Are those the same pollsters who gave us the pre-election forecasts?
    I know you are only a student but someone must be teaching you there. Is it the current fashion in the Vassar English Department to advise you to rely on attacks against the person instead of facts?
    In fact, Trump has done everything scientifically and humanly possible to deal with the pandemic. He identified the need to immediately restrict travel from China. His administration organized the production and distribution of medical equipment from zero stockpiled by previous administrations. He provided a state of the art medical ship and new hospital beds in New York. He put together a robust effort for vaccine development and medical research for anti-viral treatment. He maintained the economy by his leadership and stimulus package.
    One of the most important qualities of a leader is to maintain hope. No matter how dark the picture people need to know that they are going to get encouragement and hope. Trump is the hardest working and most caring president we have had in my lifetime.

    Janet C. Stiles, M.D.

  2. Masks were recommended at the time people registered for Trump rallies and many people wore them. Full recommendations for following CDC guidelines were advised. The events were held outside and clear advice was given to stay home in the case of any symptoms or for people at increased risk.
    In late July Dr. Fauci attended a baseball game and sat in a stadium at the same distance as people at a rally with his mask pulled down around his neck covering neither his nose or mouth.
    Recently there was a major outbreak of Covid 19 at a large Boston teaching hospital. It was traced to a patient who had respiratory symptoms but tested negative twice for the virus. The outbreak affected 42 employees and 15 patients. Full protective measures were in place at the hospital.
    Public health recommendations have continued to evolve during the pandemic. Secure eye protection is advised which I do not see in general use. Masks alone do not provide full protection but in accordance with guidelines most certainly were and are strongly advised to be used.

    Janet C. Stiles, M.D.

  3. Update- Saturday 11-7: Times Square packed with Biden supporters in Victory Celebration but no social distancing at all.

    Janet C. Stiles, M.D.

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